The City of Ojai Arts Comission is pleased to announce an exhibition of the work of artist Karen Lewis in our the Ojai City Hall Gallery,401 S. Ventura St,. and a concurrent exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum,130 W. Ojai Ave., from January 7 to March 15. The exhibit is called “Faces, Places, and Things” and is a retrospective of the former Ojai Arts Commissioner and respected Ojai artist. Lewis will be on hand for a public reception at the Museum on January 18th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of downtown Ojai’s Third Friday events.
Lewis, whose works are large scale oils on canvas, received her BA from UCLA and her MFA from Lehman College in the Bronx. During her time in New York she exhibited in the SoHO district at the Pindar Gallery in New York City and taught high school art for 15 years. She was also an adjunct instructor for arts education at the College of New Rochelle. Lewis returned to California in 1990 settling in Ojai. She continued her educational journey with cutting-edge printmaking workshops in Santa Fe New Mexico; in Lucca and Florence, Italy; and in nearby Santa Barbara.
“It was after landing in Ojai that I really fell in love with the landscape and joined a throng of local plein air painters,” said Lewis, who now divides her time between landscape painting, studio painting and printmaking.”My progress with plein air painting had a slow start because while living in NY I fell in love with painting ‘portraits’ of chairs, which I collected on weekly trash nights. My N.Y. loft and home were filled with my scavenged beauties and their large scaled portraits. I left many behind when we moved to Ojai and when I started plein air painting here, I was immediately drawn to the beach, deck, and patio chairs that populated the California scene. A few are included in this current show. I’ve gradually weaned myself from those California natives and am deeply in love again with the California sky, sea and mountains.”
Lewis, a vital part of the Ojai arts community, has had innumerable solo exhibitions, including “Please be Seated” an exhibit of her large scale paintings of California chairs at the Ventura County Government Center and annually exhibits with the Ojai Studio Artists. She was honored in 2012 as a documented artist in the Focus on the Masters archival project.One of her larger pieces, inspired by a London garden scene, was purchased by Bank of A. Levy and is in the Ventura County Museum of History and Art’s collection.
“Faces,Places, and Things” can be viewed at City Hall from 9 a.m,- 5 p.m. Monday- Friday and at the Ojai Valley Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-4 p.m. Sunday. Her work can also be viewed online at her website, www.karenklewis.com, and at ojaistudioartists.org, and by appointment at her Ojai studio.
The newly hung show at Ojai City Hall Gallery features the pastel landscape work of renowned Ojai Studio Artist, Tom Hardcastle. The exhibition will run through January 4, 2019, and is available to the public to view at any time during regular City Hall hours. The City of Ojai Arts Commission and the Ojai Valley Museum have been fostering a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship this past year and Hardcastle will also have 3 large oil works on display at the museum during this period. Hardcastle is an exhibiting member of the Degas Society, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, SBAA, Oil Painters of America. He is a signature member of the Artists for Conservation and has exhibited at several international pastel shows. He says of his work, “My art has provided me with many journeys over the years and I look forward to the growth and insight that comes with it.” One of these latest journeys was undertaken with fellow Ojai artist and celebrated landscape painter, Jennifer Moses, and this mentorship and artistic exchange has resulted in the works now on view at City Gallery. They are entitled collectively “The Quiet Places.” Working alongside Moses encouraged Hardcastle to “see Ojai through new eyes” and many of the pastels on display will intrigue viewers with fresh new angles on Ojai and views of the valley with which we might not be so familiar. Meanwhile, over at the museum, Hardcastle presents three striking paintings which are thematically and stylistically very different to the City Gallery series. “Icons and Archetypes,” comprises three large-scale oil paintings with a strong Pop Art feel that presents the artist’s perspective of select popular cultural icons and exploitive archetypes, especially the exploitation of females in the modern world. Although his first love is pastels and the smudging, tactile nature of that medium, this exploration of oils and iconography represents another new artistic journey for Hardcastle. When asked what drives him to create he says, “because I have to. I cannot not be working. I work at least 6 days a week in my studio outside of my time in the salon.” (Hardcastle also owns and operates the Delilah Salon in downtown Ojai.) The reception for “The Quiet Places” and “Icons and Archetypes” will be held at the City Gallery at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16th at Ojai City Hall, 401 S Ventura St, Ojai, and the artist will be present to talk about his work and techniques and the very different nature of his work in each venue. The City of Ojai Art Gallery at City Hall welcomes visitors Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except holidays. The Ojai Valley Museum is located at 130 W. Ojai Avenue, and is open Sundays from noon – 4 p.m., and Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“I Feel Like Glitter” Hee Eun Chung
“Overcome” Ayliah Zweig
The Ojai Studio Artists will award $10,000 in scholarships to ten Ventura County high school and college art students this year. The winning students will be honored and awarded their scholarships at a special reception at Ojai City Hall on Saturday, June 2 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. The quality of work continues to astound as we observe 25 years of OSA Scholarship reviews!
Everyone is invited to attend this special recognition event and student exhibition. These events take place at City Gallery at Ojai City Hall, located at 410 S. Ventura Street, Ojai. The show extends from May 30-June 29; open Monday-Friday, 9-5:00PM. The Ojai Arts Commission generously hosts the show installed throughout City Hall for the benefit of the public.
The prestigious Beatrice Wood, Horace Bristol, and Otto and Vivika Heino Awards honor the legacy of these important Ojai artists and past OSA members. The Ojai Award goes specifically to local students. As well as Ojai, award students hail from Westlake Village, Oxnard, Newbury Park, and Ventura. Gayel Childress and Richard Amend will present on the history of the Ojai Studio Artists and the value of scholarships, respectively.
Each year OSA raises money to support young artists to further their art education.
To date, the artists’ organization has funded over $233,950 in scholarships and other ArtReach programs, including books for the Library and repairs for the Ojai Art Center. Proceeds from OSA’s Annual Studio Tour (October 13-15, 2018) together with private donations, fund these initiatives. For further information about our artist organization, our annual tour and how to donate to the scholarship fund, please go to www.ojaistudioartists.org and click on “donate”.
About Ojai Studio Artists
The organization’s mission is to create an environment where artists thrive ― professional and student alike — and fulfill the potential of the arts to enrich lives and build community.
“Fields…Gatherings…Wanderings” An exhibit at Ojai City Hall Gallery featuring the work of Joanne Pavlak.
Joanne Pavlak, a resident of Ojai has an exhibit at the City Hall Gallery and the Ojai Valley Museum through May 25. The public is invited to an artist reception during Ojai’s Third Friday, April 20 from 5:30 – 7:00.
Pavlak’s work is finely detailed. Some might think it’s completely abstract, but as Pavlak explains, her work has a basis in the natural world:
As a child I was aware that the sky was big and wondered if it ever ended. In my reachable, touchable world I looked at details, collected ‘specimens’ and played with worms. As an adult, I worked in the Biological Sciences Department at USC and gained a basic understanding of nature’s complex systems, and through an electron microscope, saw the secret world of organisms and plants. I still look at details, collect specimens, star gaze and imagine beyond the visible. This is what fuels my art.
Pavlak received her BFA from the University of Washington. In Seattle her work was shown at Francine Seders Gallery in both solo and group shows. She was also an invited participant in groups shows at Soil Art Gallery (Seattle), Gage Academy of Art (Seattle), Kirkland Arts Center (Kirkland, WA), Skagit Valley College (Mt. Vernon, WA), and had a solo show at Pierce College Fine Arts Gallery (Lakewood, WA). In 2010 she was nominated for and awarded a month long artist residency by the Jentel Arts Foundation in Banner, Wyoming. Pavlak is currently a member of The Ojai Studio Artists.